Swedish Language Blog

Society slows down Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Culture

Everybody is entitled to 5 weeks of paid holiday, and almost everybody wants their holiday during the hot weeks of the summer. During that period of time a lot of shops close, leaving only the big chains open. Healthcare centers are only open during a certain few hours, making people have to go the the bigger cities to get treated. The Swedish society slows down to an unimaginably inefficient society where everybody wants holiday but sort of expects the service they get during the rest of the year.

There are of course people on call for the “life-saving” jobs, but even they get holiday,  leaving the responsibility to younger people that are willing to work during the best beach month. Service can often be experienced as “going round in circles” and slow but that might be because the people who usually have daily routines are on holiday.

When people then go back to work from their summer holiday there is often a lot of complaining and a “slow start” back. People are still in their holiday routines and want to hold onto that for as long as they can. Tourists to Sweden during the summer can often be surprised by the closed shops and wonder ‘where are the people?’ but they are more than likely at their summer cottages.

Is there a time of year when society slows down in your country?

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  1. Letícia:

    “Is there a time of year when society slows down in your country?” – oh, you bet there is! Here in Brazil people say that the year only starts for real after the Carnaval. It’s funny because people here complain so much about it, imagining that such a thing doesn’t happen in more developed countries (like Sweden!). 🙂

  2. Thiago:

    Well Brazil goes slow down in the pass 500 hundred years! But our big problems are most linked with structural development. It’s not during holidays our problems, but in daily life. Hospitals, schools, logistics are running to chaos.

  3. Brian Stenberg:

    Here in South Florida things generally slow down right after Easter & Passover, then pick up in November, just before Thanksgiving. The first signs of Spring/Summer here are the car transporter trucks headed north with loads of cars with New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut license plates.

  4. Luke:

    oops, doesn’t seem to be a good idea to visit Sweden in july!

  5. janerowena:

    In the UK in the colder north, hotels and restaurants close down, along with smaller business, in February and the end of January. When we lived up there it came as a huge shock – we would drive out at the weekend and try to find somewhere to eat, or maybe go shopping, and say ‘Lincolnshire is shut!’.

    It only really applies in the more sparsely populated areas, though.

  6. Peter:

    Not true. There are of course some of it, but absolutely not as bad as it sounds here. Sweden is NOT closed during summer, if anything that is a myth. Stockholm for instance is full of people, cafés, restaurants, museums… Lots of things to do. And there’s even SERVICE! Not to mention the rest of Sweden with music festivals, canal boats, hiking…

    I don’t understand the reason to write things like this? Sweden is a beautiful country and worth a visit any time of the year, don’t you worry about that.

  7. Luke:

    I should have clicked “notify me” but thanks Peter, I was only kidding with katja.